Boston Dynamics goes Commercial

Boston Dynamics goes Commercial

For several years Boston Dynamics have been releasing videos of their robot developments that have both delighted and frightened viewers. With robots such as Atlas being able to undertake numerous different tasks, the company has become known worldwide for its innovations. For the first time this year, Boston Dynamics goes commercial with its robot known as Spot. No firm date has been set as yet but the CEO, Marc Raibert, has said it will be on the market before the end of this year.

Spot is currently being tested in a number of ‘proof-of-concept’ environments including package delivery and surveying. The developers say they are testing Spot relentlessly to ensure it is perfect for the commercial world.

Boston Dynamics goes Commercial Shown at Robotics Exhibition

At the recent exhibition of Amazon’s – Re: MARS, which was held in Las Vegas and is dedicated to advanced robotics, machine learning and space exploration, two Spot robots mingled with the crowds. On the first evening of the event, they were accompanied by two Boston Dynamics employees who controlled them with modified gaming tablets. This caused a lot of interest and excitement among the attendees, especially when one of them collapsed for what appeared to be no reason. As it folded it legs and nose-dived to the floor, a replacement was soon brought in.
What the handlers were able to demonstrate is how easy Spot is to control, some people comparing its simplicity to that of controlling a mechanical toy.

Is Success Guaranteed when Boston Dynamics goes Commercial

No commercial venture is guaranteed success but with Spot, Boston Dynamics stand more chance that most. They have produced a robot that is a single tool with many different uses. It can be customized by users to complete a range of tasks and when mounted with 3D cameras can map environments such as construction sites. This enables it to identify dangers and work in progress.

At the Re:MARS exhibition, it was shown how it could pick up objects. As an example, it picked up a cuddly toy which it then offered to a real police dog. The dog was not impressed with the robot but was happy to be given the toy.

The vast majority of robots in workplaces such as warehouses and factories are only able to do the task they are programmed for in a specific environment. Boston Dynamics are producing robots that will be able to work alongside humans in many different situations and that are able to react to hazards and changing conditions.
The biggest problem the company faces is the competition that has sprung up in the last few years. They do, however, think they will be able to produce them at a lower cost than their rivals and already have had much interest from companies in Japan and several other countries.

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